By the time you’ve got to the sixth month of your pregnancy, it’s very hard to get decent sleep. Part of it is down to pressure from the baby on your bladder, which means you have to get up several time in the night to go to the toilet. Part of it is down to the sheer weight of the baby. Even when sleeping on your side, you will find great strain on your back and hips in supporting the baby’s weight. Part of it is that the baby will move constantly, making it difficult for you to settle and get some rest.
Here are some suggestions of what to do if you are pregnant but can’t sleep:
1. Try to calm both yourself and the baby before going to bed. A nice warm bath and some soothing music should help. A warm milky drink just before bedtime should also help relax you. Don’t drink too much though, or you will end up waking needing the toilet.
2. Ask your husband to give you a massage. This should relieve the tension in your back muscles, and a gentle soothing rub on the baby bump should also help baby to rest and stop fidgeting.
3. The quality of your bed is quite important. Many mattresses sink under the weight of our bodies – therefore remember to get your partner to turn the mattress when making the bed. (Don’t do it yourself, you will cause yourself an injury). Also make sure the linen is fresh and cool – there is nothing more likely to induce sleep than clean cool sheets.
4. Consider getting a total body pillow or a maternity pillow. These come in various shapes and sizes – some are like giant rectangles on which you lay down. Others have a curved c-shape. My experience is that the c-shape pillows are the best. You can place it round your back and tuck the bottom part of the “C” between your legs to hold it in place. Placing the end between your legs also means the pelvic bones are held at a comfortable distance apart and don’t collapse together to give you back pain. You can also round the baby bump to support your belly, with the bottom part of the “C” tucked between your legs. My advice is to simply try out different positions with the pillow till you find the one that works for you.
Sometimes you may simply have to accept the fact that you will only be able to snatch sleep in short bursts in the latter stages of pregnancy. However, as long as you are getting some rest and don’t feel too tired, this is not something to worry about. As for getting sleep after the birth – well, that’s another story…